Country #77 - Hungary

The Fisherman’s Bastion

It’s a sad day as it is the last day of my trip with my mom through Europe. We had a full day in Budapest, Hungary though, so we definitely finished on a high note! We began the day with breakfast at our hotel, Fraser Residence Budapest, before taking the great public transit in Budapest over to Buda Castle. Inside Buda Castle we visited the Hungarian National Gallery for about forty-five minutes. It was really cool because almost all of the art was Hungarian and it covered Renaissance to Modern art. Afterwards we headed outside to watch the changing of the guard. It was definitely unique and I’m really glad we saw it. There were about ten men doing a drill with their guns to a snare drum.

DSC_0360.JPG

Afterwards we walked over to Castle Hill where we first visited Mátyás Templom. Mátyás Templom is a beautiful and very unique church that is one of the highlights of Budapest in my opinion. It is so intricate both inside and out, and I love how inside you can climb to the second level and go through a small museum. When we finished at Mátyás Templom we then did Fisherman's Bastion which was right next door. The architecture of the interesting structure that is almost synonymous with Budapest is fantastic as art the views out over the city from it. We walked along it before then buying a few souvenirs on our way to lunch.

For lunch we ate at one of the best restaurants of my trip thus far, 21 Hungarian Restaurant. I want to thank 21 so much for sponsoring this meal of my trip! It was an absolutely perfect meal. I started off with some yummy (and, more importantly, warm) hot chocolate. We had bread to start with a tasty local spread. Next, we shared a goulash and man it was so good. Like we could have stopped there with our meal and been more than satisfied! We kept going, though, and our main courses were exquisite. I had wiener schnitzel and my mom had chicken paprikash, though we definitely shared with each other. Mine came with creamy mashed potatoes that were so buttery and good.

DSC02123.JPG

We were absolutely stuffed by the time we finished, but we ordered traditional Hungarian sponge cake for desert anyways. It was a good call because it was so tasty and a great way to finish off our perfect meal! 21 Hungarian Restaurant not only had great food but a great location (right by Fisherman’s Bastion) and a really cool asthetique as well. Thank you again so much to everyone at 21 - we had excellent service throughout our meal and could not have asked for a better lunch!

After lunch we took the bus over to walk along the water from the Chain Bridge and see the Shoes on the Danube Bank memorial, which is dedicated to those who were shot into the Danube during WWII. It is a really unique but very well done memorial, and you should definitely visit if you ever find yourself in Budapest. From there we walked to the famous Hungarian Parliament Building, which truly is one of the most intricate and beautiful buildings. We decided against visiting inside, though, because it was really quite expensive and there wasn’t another English tour for an hour. Our next walk was to St. Stephen's Basilica. On the way there we passed two of the cutest puppies playing together in a park and it was just really a cuteness overload.

DSC_0480.JPG

We arrived at St. Stephen's Basilica and found the first of two Christmas markets we would be visiting today set up outside. We went in St. Stephen's Basilica before doing the market to give ourselves plenty of time to shop. It is a beautiful church and the inside is so beautiful and intricate. The exterior is also the perfect backdrop for a Christmas market, and made the market all the more enjoyable. We visited all of the stalls and bought a few souvenirs before making our way to a second Christmas market located at Vörösmarty Square.

The street lights around Vörösmarty Square were so pretty and much more plentiful than throughout the rest of the city (there were lots throughout the city but this area wa especially well decorated). There was a cool light display on one of the buildings in the square, and we spent a good amount of time shopping through all of these stalls as well. Once we finished shopping we had a great Hungarian snack for a light dinner, as we were still stuffed from lunch, called a langos. Our langos (and what seemed to be the most basic offering) was basically a funnel cake covered in sour cream and shredded cheese and boy was it good. Someone needs to start selling them at home because I would definitely buy them! We also had mulled wine to drink which was good but more importantly warm.

After eating we walked back through the market and then took the metro back to Fraser Residence Budapest. It was relatively early but we have to be up at 3:30am tomorrow for a very early flight to start off our crazy long day of travel to get back home. It was a great last day of the trip, though, and a really perfect day spent seeing Budapest!

77 countries down, 120 to go.

For more information on Hungary click here to read my guide.

To learn more about Fraser Residence Budapest click here.